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Pugilism sound

Sports blotter: "Trouble in Washington" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  August 15, 2007


Creep-less in Seattle
It’s been a while since we heard much from the Washington Huskies. Truth be told, U-Dub has always been an underperforming sports-crime institution — Rick Neuheisel notwithstanding. The Seattle-based school manages, somehow, to quietly feed quality players to the NFL and the NBA without piling up stacks of punched-out girlfriends and broken windshields.

The biggest exception to this rule, of course, would be former Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, who as a Husky star once got baked and drove a truck into an old-folks’ home. That case certainly earned a spot on the Top-10 list of All-Time Collegiate Sports Busts: not only did the truck punch a huge hole in the outside of the rest home, but the impact caused a dresser inside to fly onto the bed of a sleeping 92-year-old woman, who thankfully managed to escape injury. Witnesses saw Stevens fall twice while trying to free his truck from the retirement complex. Eventually he gave up and fled the scene on foot. Later Stevens would be busted and claim that those old folks must have seen another 6-7 monstrosity stumbling out of the truck-shaped hole in their house. UW coach Neuheisel, himself soon to embarrass the school because of a gambling scandal, was so inspired by the tale as to call a meeting to “discuss the importance of good behavior.”

Yes, those were the old days at UW. But it’s been relatively quiet since then.

Now UW is back in the news, thanks to cornerback Jordan Murchison, who was told by coach Ty Willingham that he will be “having nothing to do with” the team for an “indefinite” period while his legal situation acquires, as Bill Belichick would say, some further clarity. Murchison was arrested August 8 on a failure-to-appear warrant stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred this past March. The incident? Punching two teeth out of the mouth of a man who was sleeping on a couch at the home of a girl involved with Murchison.

Not sure I get the anger issue here, unless she was on the couch with the guy.... Nevertheless, Murchison also has a September 24 hearing ahead of him in connection with a fairly boilerplate Barroom Girlfriend Dispute. In that one, Murchison dragged his girlfriend of five years around by her hair, was separated from her somehow, and then later blocked her exit and was observed apparently hitting her, causing her to scream, “Please stop!”

If convicted, Murchison will join a long list of sports-world female-hair pullers: the beer-pounding, repulsively fat PGA flameout John Daly, Braves manager Bobby Cox (who pulled his wife’s hair in 1995, the same year he won the World Series), semi-repentant Phillies ace Brett Myers, Broncos great Rod Smith, and, of course, O.J. Simpson.

Alas, Murchison is not the only Husky to get into trouble recently. The team had another interesting case last October, in which running back Michael Houston stole a taxi. Apparently, Houston and his girlfriend were out late and got a cab. The woman got into a dispute with the driver and — classy lady — spit on him. When the driver stepped out of the car, Houston jumped behind the wheel and drove away. You would think this would be a first in sports history, and it sort of is, except that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case did a very similar thing once — one of her four priors.

In any case, Murchison sounds like a first-class jerk. Let’s give him 60 points on the Rack, more pending conviction.

Face breakers
One consistent feature of fights involving football players is the broken facial bone. You seldom see it with baseball or basketball players, and less often than you’d think with hockey types. But football players? Even the girly positions like wide receivers and punters? They break folks’ faces.

Last week, the always-good-for-a-sports-crime University of Colorado suspended three players for a face-breaking-related incident. (Note: Rick Neuheisel coached at Colorado, too.) Sophomore linebacker Michael Sipili is out indefinitely. Defensive tackles Chris Perri and Taj Kaynor are out three games and one game, respectively. The three were walking on campus together last week....

Here we introduce one of the other constants of the sports-fight story: the 22-year-old bystander with the cute girlfriend who walks by the wrong spot at the wrong time and is stuck having to defend his girl’s honor against three ’roided-up Sasquatches with cabbage-sized fists.

In this case, the bystander was a student named John Antrim, who was walking with a friend named James Terry and three female friends. One of the women apparently confronted Perri after he said something “offensive” to her. You can imagine the rest — Terry stepped in to aid the girl and got punched out by Perri, and then Antrim got it from Sipili after he tried to help Terry.

Antrim suffered three facial fractures that required surgery. Not surprisingly, he declined comment to reporters last week.

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Pugilism sound
It’s unfortunate that you have the facts wrong in this article. Taj Kaynor was not involved or even there the night of the incident involving Sipili and Perri. The incident involving Kaynor and Perri was three weeks later and all charges against Kaynor were dropped when the courts determined he acted in self defense when Perri assaulted him.
By sparkles on 09/03/2007 at 1:42:13
Pugilism sound
A month ago I sent proof to the writer and the editor's desk that this article was completely wrong with regards to Taj Kaynor. I received an email response from both saying it would be corrected in the next article by this writer. To date I have been unable to locate that correction although he has written several articles since I received his email. I will tell you that the writer clearly did not do much research for this article. All he had to do was read any of the Denver/Boulder papers or to find out the true facts of this case. I guess the truth really only matters to Taj, his family and his friends. I have to wonder how many other articles this guy has written without doing his research. I will never read any of his stuff without wondering if it's fact or fiction.
By sparkles on 10/10/2007 at 4:35:44
Pugilism sound
CORRECTION FROM THE EDITOR A previous “Sports Blotter” article mistakenly reported that University of Colorado player Taj Kaynor had been suspended for involvement in a fight with fellow players Michael Sipili and Chris Perri. In fact, Kaynor was involved in a different incident with Perri three weeks later and was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing. In addition, the fight did not actually occur in August, as had been originally reported, but rather back in June. Lastly, the incident did not occur on campus, but on a Boulder street. Apologies for the errors.
By sparkles on 10/19/2007 at 10:53:23
Pugilism sound
Whas the big deal anyway? CU football has enough bad PR. More than just football players get in fights. Why the focus on a guy in his 3rd year who doesn't have any playing time or stats? Better to focus on the 22 or so whose performance can be measured on the field. Not the ones who go around fighting whether it's on or off campus. Write something about the Independence Bowl and prospects for next year.
By Roger232 on 12/04/2007 at 1:13:43
Pugilism sound
Just to be clear...I meant focus on a stud like Perri with 5 tackles and 2 assists over 9 games. Not Sipili who was tossed or Kaynor who had one assist and 3 DNP's.
By Roger232 on 12/04/2007 at 1:26:11
Pugilism sound
JUST TO BE CLEAR --- The purpose of asking for the correction had nothing to do with football and everything to do with reputation. Taj did not roam the campus looking for someone to beat up – he was in fact not involved in the situation with Sipili and Perri and did not deserve to be characterized that way. In the incident that Taj was involved in he was sucker punched in the face by Perri and defended himself. That is why the district attorney dropped all the charges against Taj. JUST TO BE CLEAR --- When something is written about you on the internet, whether it is true or not, it never goes away! It is there for anyone to stumble across at anytime. I personally felt that it was important to set the record straight on this article. It had so clearly been written by someone who had not bothered to do the research and had so blatantly characterized Taj as a drunken football thug roaming the streets looking to beat innocent people up. That is not what happened and it is not who Taj is. Anybody who knows him personally will attest to that. A stud like Perri? Whatever.
By sparkles on 01/06/2008 at 12:27:31

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